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Lab Invest. 2016 Mar;96(3):270-82. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2015.147. Epub 2015 Dec 14.

Lymphatic endothelial lineage assemblage during corneal lymphangiogenesis.

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Boys Town National Research Hospital, Department of Neurosensory Genetics and Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Omaha, NE, USA.


Postnatal inflammatory lymphangiogenesis presumably requires precise regulatory processes to properly assemble proliferating lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs). The specific mechanisms that regulate the assembly of LECs during new lymphatic vessel synthesis are unclear. Dynamic endothelial shuffling and rearrangement has been proposed as a mechanism of blood vessel growth. We developed genetic lineage-tracing strategies using an inductive transgenic technology to track the fate of entire tandem dimer tomato-positive (tdT) lymphatic vessels or small, in some cases clonal, populations of LECs. We coupled this platform with a suture-induced mouse model of corneal lymphangiogenesis and used different analytic microscopy techniques including serial live imaging to study the spatial properties of proliferating tdT(+) LEC progenies. LEC precursors and their progeny expanded from the corneal limbal lymphatic vessel and were assembled contiguously to comprise a subunit within a new lymphatic vessel. VE-cadherin blockade induced morphologic abnormalities in newly synthesized lymphatic vessels, but did not disrupt the tdT(+) lymphatic endothelial lineage assembly. Analysis of this static and dynamic data based largely on direct in vivo observations supports a model of lymphatic endothelial lineage assemblage during corneal inflammatory lymphangiogenesis.

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